Most MMO devs agree that a new MMO requires a development time of three to four years. City of Heroes had close to five years of development time and as a result was launched as a very well polished game. Cryptic only started working on STO largely from scratch in July 2008 and the game was launched in February 2010. That is HALF the required time and part of the reason why I did not start playing STO from day one despite being a hardcore trekkie and MMO player. STO was born prematurely and even today the lack of polish still shows.
Very true. BUT the playerbase's expectations start on release day, regardless of whether it was premature or not.
A big mistake Cryptic made is in the speed of levelling.
The average Cryptic MMO is quite fast in levelling, but STO takes it to 11.
Combine that with the fact that it also takes the "little in terms of endgame content", another Cryptic staple, to 11 as well and you've got bored players.
You can tell bored players you were rushed, but in the end they're still bored.
Then agian, maybe I was spoiled. The MMO I played most (and I've sampled many, believe me) had huge flaws, but lack of content certainly wasn't it.
2 years after release? Endgame was very well fleshed-out and frankly, it took me a year and half to even reach it (would've been a lot faster had I been in the US or Japan, but we're still talking months; not ~20 hours of playtime as in STO).
Of course, Cryptic probably doesn't have the manpower Squeenix had on the project, but once again, for the player that makes no difference.
Anyway, there probably are commercial reasons not to release Starbases too early as well.
Say the rumours are true: new Ships are on the way... that'd hurt the sale of existing Ships (hence the discount) and the Akira-R still has to make more return.